From Sue Tait, Diocesan Librarian:
Question: Pentecost is coming on May 31st and of course we are providing what we can online now, or not at all. Do you have any ideas of how I should proceed? I know you are not sending books out yet.
Sue Says: There are some specific helps for people presenting Sunday School online. As you know, we’ve been saying to each other for some time that faith begins and is primarily nourished in the home. As we live into our virtual world that fact become more and more evident and is filled with both challenges and opportunities.
The journal “Building Faith” is one of my favorite resources and currently presents “Pentecost in a Box” which you can find on their website here (https://buildfaith.org/pentecost-in-a-box/). This site presumes family interaction and instruction, pointing out that Pentecost is the 50th and last day of the Easter season. That day marks the birth of the Church when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. The flames remind us that the Holy Spirit rested on the heads of the followers like tongues of flame. And, there are often doves in one form or another, reminding us that when the Holy Spirit came to Jesus it was in the form of a dove. All those symbols can be part of your home celebration as well as sharing tips for storytelling, greeting card making, and other festivities to help kinesthetic learning. You can of course add your own ideas depending on the age and composition of your family.
Adults who view the Day of Pentecost as a great party before the long “green” season begins might do well to adapt these ideas for a more reflective look at the meaning of the season. Building Faith offers some teaching points in an article you can find here (https://buildfaith.org/teaching-pentecost/) If you type “Pentecost” in the search box you will find other articles as well.
Episcopal News Service (ENS) posted an article recently on some of the amazing ways that churches have responded to new challenges during this period of quarantine. The article is called “Photo scavenger hunts, virtual prayer walks and lots of crafts: Sunday School has left the building.” It looks back at Lent and Easter for its examples, but you might find some ideas to adapt for Pentecost and beyond. The most exciting thing to me was how engaged the families were in creating and presenting their ideas when asked for their input. You can sign up for ENS here (https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/email-signup/); it’s a great source of ideas and information about the church, and its free.
Thinking of you all as we move together into the future.